Evaluations of Joe’s Work

What do professional educators and students think of working with Joe Craven?

Professionals say…

“Simply put, if someone is unable to be inspired by Joe Craven you need to check for a pulse.”

Tony Steve, Professor of Contemporary / World Music and Percussion
Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL

“He knows how to get kids involved and keep their attention. Joe is an entertainer in every sense of the word, he has a passion for his music that is contagious to the audience and we think that any school would be lucky to have the opportunity to have Joe perform at their school.”

Lynn Cooper, Executive Director
Inyo Council for the Arts, Bishop, CA

“Joe was an Artist –in-Residence at CSU, Chico,…visiting and performing for school children, senior citizens, service groups, and even the Chico City Manager and his staff. He also hosted a number of master classes and workshops for musicians that were very well received. Following his appearances for the week, we received many follow-up letters and calls from school principals and community members thanking us for bringing Joe to our community. They all extolled his accessibility and commitment to making the arts understandable and enjoyable for everyone.

Joe is known for his ability to connect with the audience. Whether for a dozen kids in third grade or an adult post-graduate seminar, he has an uncanny knack for putting everyone at ease while he guides them to a greater appreciation for the arts…and, he is always encouraging everyone to participate, make their own music, and have fun while doing it.”

Dan DeWayne, Director, Chico Performances
California State University – Chico, Chico, CA

“The challenge of presenting music to deaf students was beautifully met by Joe, who without prior experience with deafness, innately seemed to understand how to stimulate alternative senses to hearing. Joe was able to engage and involve the deaf and hearing students alike, using audience participation and visual aids, such as a zig-zag zebra print to represent sound patterns. Every child played and felt the vibrations of many world instruments, and followed and created rhythms and beats with the group.

It has been a springboard for an interest in music that is unusual for most deaf students. It was an exciting, interactive presentation, clearly enjoyed by all of the children and adults fortunate enough to be there.

I am very grateful that all of us here at John Muir had the opportunity of experiencing the talents and magic of Joe Craven.”

Kris Waters, Teacher
Kindergarten Class for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing
John Muir Elementary School, Berkeley, CA

“Joe’s demonstration, using a variety of found objects, was delightfully creative. The audience appeared astonished when, after Joe demonstrated considerable skill on the violin, that he admitted that he had never been formally trained. His approach to music as a form of communication, the existence of which is not reliant on the availability of classical instruments, was refreshing from a cultural, socioeconomic, and musical point of view. We would be delighted to have Joe visit our school again.”

Robert I. Hurwitz, Acting Dean
School of Music – University of Oregon – Eugene

“From the moment he began the show, Joe had the kids in the palm of his hand. Joe knows how to get the kids involved and how to keep their attention. Lots of audience participation that included a look at some rare and fascinating instruments that kept everyone, including staff, glued to his every move. You never know what he might come up with next, as his show is spontaneous and different every time. This is an exceptional assembly for all ages.

Joe grabs the teachable moment to introduce ethical concepts such as the discipline required to achieve mastery on an instrument, and how music can help you become your best self.”

Connie Kretschmer – Music Teacher
Silver Springs Elementary School – Nevada

“What an AMAZING performance! Joe’s visit here was the highlight of my month for sure, and it was incredible to see how mesmerized the students were. Even those kids who don‚t usually like to show that they are interested were tapping their feet and raising their hands!! Joe did a beautiful job of blending a really positive message without preaching, and presenting it a way that was inspiring, entertaining, and totally non-judgmental! Lucky us. I won’t forget the day, and neither will our kids. In fact, I have overheard a few conversations amongst the students since his visit.”

Roger White Director – REALMS
Expeditionary Alternative Learning Middle School, Bend, Oregon

“Joe struck the perfect balance between describing the folk ‘process’ and demonstrating it to my students. One student just kept muttering ‘fantastic, fantastic’ when I ran into him at the Coffee House; another emailed me to say that Joe inspired her to start singing again. I wish I had the authority to appoint Joe as a lecturer here at UC Davis.”

Peter Schiffman, Professor
University of California – Davis

“The week of April 27, 2009 was made completely magical for the Chico community by the artist residency of the brilliant multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven. Enloe Medical Center (EMC) had the honor of sponsoring that residency. EMC partners with Chico Performances/California State University reflecting the Planetree philosophy of highlighting the arts and community as key components of maintaining a long term, healthy life style. Joe Craven is “Planetree personified”. I cannot recommend musician Joe Craven highly enough. He truly practices the healing power of the arts. Joe creates joy and wonder in a manner that will enhance your Planetree program.”

Trudy Duisenberg, Community Outreach Coordinator
Enloe Medical Center, Chico, California

Students say…

“The ability of a professional like Joe to move toward the intangibles and encourage development in being present in each moment, and to recognize that music is always happening, is a gift for musicians and all human beings.”

“Joe is a deeply committed ambassador of arts education for lifelong learning. He provided very individualized instruction while also using group interactions in a way that reinforced lessons. Incredibly applicable material/concepts for use in life, not jut playing music! When he said that this class provides tools that will help us use what we’ve learned in other classes, he was underestimating the impact of this.”

“Joe changed my concept on what constitutes music by a workshop I attended where he talked about disconnected sound. I’ve heard music in things I had never considered before that day.”

“Joe’s classes are interesting, inspiring, invigorating, centering and expanding!”